FTII sympathisers to hold alternative film festival in Goa

Panaji, Nov 22 (IANS) FTII sympathisers will hold a two-day alternative film festival in Panaji from November 24 to protest against the treatment meted out to the institute students at the 46th IFFI here, an FTII alumnus said on Sunday.

The decision to hold the alternative film festival was taken also because a section in the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) that exclusively catered to films made by students had been done away with by the organisers this year, Prateek Vats, an alumnus of Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), told media persons here.

A dossier listing out key concerns of the institute, its students and the reasons behind their recent protests would also be circulated at the alternative film festival, he said.

“The two-day film festival beginning on Tuesday in Panaji will feature films made by students as they could not screen these at the IFFI this year, as the student film section had been done away with,” Vats said.

Filmmakers Saeed Mirza, R.V. Ramani and three FTII affiliates, who claimed they were victims of police action, were also present on the occasion.

Kislay and Shubham, both ex-students of FTII, said they were arrested on Friday for showing placards and shouting slogans during the inaugural session of the film festival in the presence of union ministers Arun Jaitley and Manohar Parrikar. Ashutosh, a FTII student, said he was detained by police on Saturday for wearing a T-shirt with an FTII logo.

FTII students staged a 139-day strike from June 12 in protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute director, claiming the artiste was unfit for the position.

Vats said a booklet with comments from filmmakers and artistes supporting the FTII students would be circulated at the proposed festival.

“Circulating a booklet is a dignified way of going about things, especially at a film festival,” Vats said, adding police were “overzealous” in screening FTII students at the IFFI.

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